This Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe Brings Starbucks to the Trails

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition and adventure lessons and over 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ >”,”name”:”in -content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Join Outside+ today.

PSLs are synonymous with falling…and falling sugar. Not good when you need lasting energy to walk all day. The nutrient profile of this recipe has more protein and fat to offset the sugar, making it more balanced. In fact, it’s so balanced that recipe creator and backpacking dietitian Aaron Owens Mayhew of Backcountry Foodie says you could use it as a meal replacement on your next trip. At 3.6 ounces per serving, you can bring a taste of fall to the backcountry without taking all the cooking with you. And this recipe is so tasty, you’ll want to make it all year round, even after cafes take it off the menu.

  • 1 tbsp. instant coffee (3g)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk powder (64 g)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla powder (12g)
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar (14 g)
  • 2 tbsp. dehydrated pumpkin purée, powdered (8 g)
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (0.9 g)

At home

  1. Dehydrate the pumpkin purée.
    1. Spread the puree on the dehydrator trays using sturdy sheets of parchment paper or parchment paper. Spread evenly about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick.
    2. Dehydrate at 135℉ (57℃). After 6-8 hours, peel the bark off the tray and flip it over so the other side is exposed to the airflow. The bark is cooked when the leaf is dry and brittle, which can take 8-10 hours or more. Before it becomes brittle, it will bend like leather. Leather can be used in a few weeks, but for long term storage, keep drying until dry and brittle.
    3. Let the bark cool for 30-60 minutes, then pack in an airtight container.
    4. Break the dehydrated leaves into pieces and grind them into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder. It should be a fine powder; you cannot add it to the mixture in the “bark” (fruit leather) form.

2. Put all recipe ingredients in an airtight bag or container for use in the backcountry.

At the camp

  1. Add 8 ounces (240 ml) of boiling water to the bag or container. Additional water may be added to achieve desired flavor.
  2. Stir to mix well.
  3. Let sit for up to 3 minutes to allow the pumpkin to fully rehydrate. We recommend putting the bag or container in an insulated cozy to keep the drink warm while the pumpkin rehydrates.

Gourmet notes from the hinterland

  • For a lower calorie drink, use skimmed milk powder.
  • Cook’s makes a vanilla powder that is often found in grocery stores in the spice aisle or on Amazon.
  • The water must boil and stay hot if the pumpkin powder is going to rehydrate. Otherwise, it may be lumpy. Putting the mug or freezer bag in an insulated cozy seems to help keep it warm.
  • Portion 1 cup
  • calories 429
  • Carbohydrate content 52g
  • fat content 17g
  • fiber content 0.3g
  • protein content 17g
  • sugar content 24g